Tag Archives: baby

One Year

Babeh Babeh is one year old today. I just can’t believe how quickly this past year has gone, or how much has happened. He’s been keeping us all on our toes. So many happy days, and a handful of really scary ones. His last surgery went well, there is a 30% chance that he will not need the second surgery, and we are crossing our fingers! He hasn’t lost any more weight, which is wonderful because he was very sick at the end of May and had surgery in June. He has been discharged from occupational therapy services, and is on follow-up status with physiotherapy and infant development. He is sleeping through the night, and napping once a day. He eats what we eat, and meal time meltdowns are minimal these days. He is still very clingy. Very clingy. Very, Very. Clingy. LOL. He has been my lesson in ultimate patience. He has made it up to 5 steps at a time. He can nearly rise to his feet on his own without support now too. He’s darn fast in crawling or bum scooting. It’s actually pretty surprising! He says: mama, dad, hi, dance, ball, dog, car, balloon, bird, “dat”” (as in what’s that), and just recently started saying “what” (this new word is likely a direct result of how often he hears this word during the day, because he is always fussing and I am always saying WHAT???). Last Tuesday he pointed to Evie twice and said “Ah-E,” but he hasn’t said it since, so I am guessing soon his tormentor will have a name, ha ha. When you ask him where mama’s nose is, he points to my nose, and the same for my eyes! Right now we are working on mouth… he really enjoys fish-hooking. He can feed himself with a spoon, and has started to stab food with a fork, but his table manners still leave much to be desired! Boys are such messy eaters, my goodness. He loves to dance and climb. He will climb anything, fortunately he has been receptive in learning how to climb down as well (might have taken one or two bails, but eventually he realized that I was trying to help him and not take away his fun). He likes cheese, raisins, and all kinds of fruit, we joke that he is a spider monkey. He will sit through almost an entire board book now (yay!). He likes Thomas the Train and Yo Gabba Gabba when he has TV time, the second kid totally has more TV time. Originally I felt guilty about this, but I have since gotten over it. Life is short, don’t sweat the small stuff, and all that hullaballoo. Matthew is the perfect completion to our family.

These photos were incredibly challenging. I might even go so far to say that this was the most challenging mini session that I have done EVER. He constantly wants to be attached to me, and he constantly wants to move. Yeah, that kind of gives you an idea of what I had to work with. He has low tolerance for anything that gets in his way of meeting those two needs. There aren’t a lot of smile for grandma shots, but that’s not my kid; Matthew is not a smile for grandma type. So I guess you could say that this session captures him almost perfectly, ha ha ha. Happy Birthday Babeh:)

And how much he has changed in one year. He is about 5 days old on the left. He weighed 7 pounds, and was 22 inches long. And one year on the right! 17 pounds heavier, and 9 inches taller!

The one year compare shot. Babeh on the left, and Evie on the right. Matty is weighing in at 24 pounds, 2 ounces, and he is 31 inches tall. Everly was 21 pounds, 3 ounces, and 31 inches tall. He really slowed down! They are only 3 pounds apart, and I never thought they would be the same height at one year. Everly was only 19 inches when she was born, Matty was 22. Evie made up for being 3 pounds less, by growing 3 inches more 🙂 Ahh my babies.


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11 Months

Matty is 11 months old today. He officially turned 10 months on the 7th. It has been an eventful month. He has had highs and lows. The most exciting high would have to be his FIRST STEPS! He took 3 solo steps on Monday June 4. Out of nowhere, he just let go of one couch and walked to the next! He took a a little fall towards the end of last week, which has made him a bit nervous, so he’s been cautiously sticking to 1-3 steps at a time. I am perfectly, perfectly happy with that! LOL. Once Evie took her first steps, it was about two weeks until she was walking more than crawling, and about a month that she was a full-time confident walker on all terrains. My guess is that Babeh will reach that milestone late into next month. He is so much more cautious than his big sister!

The scary low, would be when he was unresponsive during a fever, and we had to call 911. He had strep throat, an ear infection and a virus that caused a full body rash. Towards the end of the fever period, it was suspected that he had Scarlet Fever. Babeh was sick; it was a really rough week. One that really challenged me as a mother. It took five days for the fever to finally break. When we had our happy boy back, I swear I did a jig.

He is talking quite a bit these days. He says: ball, hi, mama, dada and dog. He has started pointing to things while saying “dat,” he wants to know what everything is! He started a really fun trick this past week- I ask him, “where’s mommy’s nose?’ and he points to my nose! Tee-hee! Oh the little things. He is generally a very happy, and social little man. I’m very proud of him.

I can’t believe that in one month, he will be a whole year old. I don’t know where the time goes.

And the monthly compare shot! Evie (ON LEFT) was 30 inches tall and 21 pounds, 3 ounces. Matty (ON RIGHT) is 31 inches tall, 23 pounds, 13 ounces. He’s slowing down… actually he lost a bit of weight at the beginning of last month, so it was good to see the scale go up!

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Good Bye Old Friend

The end of an era has dawned; my daughter is no longer nursing. When she was born and I started breastfeeding I said that I was going to do it for one year and then she was cut off (yes, “cut off” were my exact words). After my 10 months of vomit filled pregnancy, I wanted my body back to myself and dreamed about the day that I could eat what I wanted and drink what I wanted… Well, one year came and went, my priorities changed and we were still a nursing team. I learned all about the World Health Organization’s 2 year recommendation and that the world average of nursing cessation was 4.2 years old… so I decided at 2 years we would start the weaning process. I felt good about our choice to continue, and I say our choice because it was one that we both made. Everly had already decreased feedings at her own pace since she turned one year, it wasn’t something that I pushed or discouraged. On her own she went down to 2 feedings/day (nap and bedtime) and I was happy to continue with this routine. It didn’t bother me that some people thought it was weird that I was still nursing her. I thought it was weird that they thought it was weird… ah our lovely Western Culture and its sexualization of the breasts.

And then I started experiencing severe digestive health issues. Suddenly I had doctors encouraging me to take different medications that were not healthy to take while nursing. I had a tough choice- her or me; for the past 2 months, I have chosen her. After some soul searching and talking to other experienced moms, I realized it wasn’t such a black and white situation; there was pretty shade of gray area. By taking these pills that may help to stabilize my digestive health I am better able to be there for her all the time. I won’t have to keep a stash of toys in the bathroom just in case we have to hang out in there for extended periods of time and we won’t have to remain at home when we would rather be at the park or the pool or playgroup.

I took the opportunity to stop nursing while I was away in Las Vegas at my cousin’s wedding last week. I thought it would be the perfect time. I would be away from her so she wouldn’t expect it anyway, and this time away I was told would dry up my supply. Okay, plan in place. My last nursing session with her was the Saturday night before I left. I was sitting with her in the rocking chair and feeding her as she drifted off to sleep. I could not help but cry, and I can’t help but get misty eyed about it now as I write. I just thought in my head, remember this moment. Everly warm and snuggly in my arms, the smell of her freshly bathed skin, still wet curls at the nape of her neck, the gentle suckling of her cheeks and pursed lips, her pink sleep sack and her baby in her arms. I put her down in her crib, by now she was in a deep sleep and I told her I loved her and that I would see her in a few days. I probably checked on her 4 times that night, just to watch her sleep before I left.

Las Vegas was great. No pain from milk supply, the sun was out and the deck chairs were welcoming! News from home told me that Everly was taking my absence like a champ; I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad about that one, lol! I was still feeling sad about stopping, and I was missing her, but all in all I knew that I was doing the right thing. Each day I check to see if the milk was drying up as I was told it would. I pictured this desert wasteland that my boobs would become inside, maybe it would nastify them even more? But each day there was still milk- wth? I shrugged it off as weird and went about my sun bathing and shopping.

I got home from Las Vegas late at night. I had to sneak a peek at my sleeping girl. I breathed in the smell of her room, the smell of my daughter everywhere; ahhhh, home. She looked so peaceful and I have to admit that it took all my might to keep myself from scooping her up and holding her! The next day when nap time came, I rocked her and put her down, no issues at all… same for bedtime. The days since have been the same, she has only asked once or twice and has been easily distracted by Goodnight Moon both times. It was hard to say no and I felt guilty, but I did it. We did it. And I think now it’s safe to say that she is officially weaned (despite the fact that I still have milk; gross, when will this stuff dry up? Am I that much of a milk machine?).

I didn’t expect it to be this hard. And I didn’t expect to miss nursing this much. I thought that I would beam with freedom from the mountain tops and drink Bellini’s and eat onions like a fiend. I guess it doesn’t help that I now know I am allergic to onions and can’t eat them anyway and I am not supposed to drink either;  that bit is a little anticlimactic isn’t it. But nursing was good to me and I would like to thank breastfeeding for the following:

1)      Helping my body fit into a size 4. Yes, size 4. The recent removal of sugar and high fat foods among other things has also helped with this, but Nursing can be credited with 40 pounds worth of the 60 pounds that I have lost. Wow, just typing that makes me all the more thankful again. Boobs you are great!

2)      Taking multi-tasking to a whole new level. I could nurse, Photoshop, talk on the phone and have a snack all at the same time. I remember setting up a nursing station early on- water, lip balm, phones (home and cell), remote and oh, the baby (ha). By the end I could walk around and nurse at the same time (ta-da!).

3)      Making my life easier. I saw what moms who bottle fed had to go through. The formula making, the boiling water, washing and boiling bottles, filling bottles, heating bottles, it seemed like an endless amount of work. Time and time again, all I had to do was lift up or pull down my shirt and whip out a boob, affix to E’s mouth and we were ready to rock and roll. This convenience was especially nice in the middle of the night when I just had to roll to my side and she was beside me.

4)      Newfound respect for my body and mother nature. Before I became a mother, I thought about my body in terms of looks and valued it that way. Now I am better able to value it for function. I grew a baby and then fed that baby. I know women do it all the time, but still, it’s pretty freaking amazing.

5)      My attachment to my daughter. Now this one is tricky. I am not saying that mothers who don’t breastfeed their babies won’t attach as well, because it’s just not true, they will. All I am saying is that personally, nursing Everly really helped me to attach to her and I am pretty confident that it helped her to attach with me. We had a bit of a traumatic birth. Things didn’t go as planned and I was in shock after she was born. I didn’t get that glowy moment where she was put on my chest and B cut the cord and all that. So it wasn’t until we were snuggled together and we were trying to get her to latch that I realized I had a baby. I know that sounds really stupid but it’s true. It dawned on me, I am responsible for this precious little bug! She looked up at me through those long lashes of hers and she likely thought something of the same.

And that’s all I can think of for now. But I am sure there is more! Breastfeeding I tip my hat to you, it’s been a good run friend.


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Olivier est Très Mignon! {Victoria, BC Newborn Photography}

Every baby that I meet is 100% an individual and Olivier was no exception. With a name like Olivier Jean-Claude Eli, you expect big things. There’s a lot of hype that goes with a strong name like that and little Olivier lived up to the hype let me tell you! Usually the newborns that I photograph stay fast asleep, and are putty in my hands to lovingly place into adorable props and poses. On occasion I have met a feisty babe who, not for a lack of trying on everyone’s part, will not fall asleep; Olivier was one of the latter. Now what made Olivier unique from all my other bright-eyed and bushy-tailed newborns was that he behaved as though he was asleep. He still let us pose him on props and in cute little poses and he stayed there, contentedly! I was blown away. I don’t know how many times I said to his mom- I just can’t believe it! It’s rare that I get pictures such as his, where baby is wide awake and peaceful. This little bug must know how good he has it. Mom named him well; a distinguised name to match his old soul. Congrats Kim and little Olivier- you are a family now 🙂

Yes there are 3 birth announcements! Mom paid extra so that she could cover all her bases. She comes from a very loyal Habs family and wanted something special to send to family back home in Montreal!

I have been getting inquiries lately in regards to the lovely knit props that I use in photo sessions… where do I get them, well, I am lucky enough to have an auntie who loves me and loves to knit. She keeps me in props and I take her out for dinner 🙂 I am sure that my dinners do not come close to the time and love that she puts into making these for me, so I am pretty lucky that she loves me aren’t I! Thanks Auntie. I am so lucky to have you!

Many of these images were created using extensive post production work in Photoshop. Please do not attempt to recreate these poses at home.


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Hannah and her Sister {Victoria, BC Baby Photography}

The only thing better than photographing newborn babies, is getting to continue to photograph them as they grow up! I first met Hannah when she was a freshie. What I remembered most about her from our newborn session was her big blue eyes and her super baby strength at that early age. Upon seeing her again at 6 months old, I was not surprised to see that these same two memorable traits had remained. She still has those amazing swimming pool eyes, and the strong little bean sat unsupported for a good stretch of time- pretty awesome feat for a 6 month old 🙂 This day was sweaty hot as well, I believe it was day 3 of our now famous heatwave. We sought out the shady spots and even let Hannah have a little air out session in her diaper on some cool, squishy green grass (as you will see below!). Miss Hannah is one of my Watch Me Grow babies and I can not wait to do just that!

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Brown Eyed Boy {Victoria, BC Famly Photography}

On Saturday it was sweltering. I woke up sticky and cover less. My only solace… I was heading out to Sooke for a family session; there is always a cool ocean breeze in Sooke and the family that I was photographing was going to do wonders for my portfolio. Not that I am complaining or anything, but it seems only the genetically gifted contact me for portrait sessions. Mom and dad turned up the heat with their enviable hotness (despite the stickiness) and little man Gabe cranked up the cute to make it all bearable. We hung out on a dock along the Pacific Ocean and a boardwalk winding through the tall Westcoast trees… shade and a cool breeze ahhhh. Little Gabe did so well, I think dipping his little toes into the ocean gave him a cool down advantage to all of us! When our shoot was nearly over and we were tackling the last bit of forested boardwalk, mom stopped and said, “It’s so hot my eyelids are sweaty!” We all laughed and I said Les, that’s going to be a direct quote on the blog! Les, Brandon and Gabe, it was a pleasure as always! Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Gabe demonstrates his hunger for the literary arts!

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Sunshine Sophia {Victoria, BC Newborn Photography}

Sophia welcome to the world and welcome to Vancouver Island! She made the trip here with her mommy to visit Auntie Serena, who is a friend of mine. Auntie Serena planned for lttle Sophia’s pictures far in advance, I think it might have been around the time that she found out her sister was expecting in fact! I was very excited at the prospect as I knew that this baby girl was going to be stunning if her mama was any indication (scroll down, you’ll see what I mean). If I were going to sum up our shoot in one word it would be sticky! It was a hot, hot day here in Victoria and we needed to keep the room that way to help little S stay cozy in her state of undress. Auntie Serena, mommy and I were all sweating or “schvitzing” as Serena would say and using our shirts as fans! Sophia made it bareable with her cuteness though, all 3 of us fawning over her as a loving stylist/photographer team. Now I always say how much I love it when my clients feed me (lol) and this shoot was no exception! Serena had some of my favourite cookies on hand and some yummy fresh cherries- a cute baby, yummy snacks, good company and a sunny day… can life get any better? I think not! I hope you love these ladies 🙂

Yes there are two birth announcements! LOL! A girl’s gotta have choices!

* Please note that many of these images were created with the use of extensive post production editing in Photoshop 5; please do not attempt at home *

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Daddy’s Little Hunter {Victoria, BC Newborn Photography}

Where do I begin with baby Wyatt? He was wooing me through the lens from the tips of his perfect little toes to the pucker of his scrumptious pouted lips, it’s safe to say that I feel in love! At 6 weeks old I was a little worried that it was going to be a tricky session, but Wyatt, like his namesake, conquered the West, the west coast photoshoot that is). It helped that it was nearly 30 degrees and it helped that we were outdoors on his parents deck which offered a slight breeze along with the most yummy lighting conditions. But I think what helped the most was his mommy and daddy, two of the most chill people I have ever met. To describe John and Sarah as laid back is like describing their son as merely “cute” common adjectives just don’t work! Wyatt has found an amazing family to call his own, and to his family he has been the most welcome blessing. He will grow up strong, thoughtful, funny like his parents and protected always by his big sister Ashlyn.

Can you guess which photos daddy helped to set up? Thanks for the help JB, I hope you like the end result!

Many of these images were created through extensive post production work in Photoshop, please do not attempt at home!


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The Other Side

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to be on the other side of the lens… the lens of Jon-Mark. We have been planning our yearly family photo session since April. We had originally decided on a date 3 weeks earlier but E’s ezcema flare up led us to postpone. Call me a bad parent but I didn’t want to have memories recorded of her being red, itchy and uncomfortable.

So the date was upon us. We had our outfits all picked out- we coordinated but did not match (he he). I had carefully selected a time that would produce E at her best; 2:00pm. That morning I went to the Swap and Shop with a friend (so much fun) and left E with her dad for a fun dad and daughter morning. When I arrived home at 10:00am he said that she had just gone to sleep, perfect I mused to myself- everything is going according to plan. I was just getting ready to tackle some business stuff and “waahhhhhh, wahhhhhhh, wahhhhh,” E woke up. I gave her 3 minutes to see if she would settle and go back down on her own, yeah right. So I pulled her out of bed and tried to do the “lazy mother” and nurse her to sleep; no dice there either- she was up and not going back to sleep. I started to stress. I did the calculations and yep, she would want to nap right at 2:00pm. I cursed in my mind. I have now taken to cursing in my mind as E has a vocabulary of 30 words that grows everyday… the last thing I need is for her to show up at granny and grandpa’s and drop a big fat F-Bomb.

We showed up at the agreed upon location. E had fallen asleep on the way there within 3 minutes of our arrival of course. We woke her up, she dealt with that quite well, it looked promising. We strapped her into her stroller, she was eager to stroll and take in the city sights… okay maybe we can swing this. We talk to the lovely Jon-Mark and decide on locations within our location. And now it’t time for pictures… and that’s where she decided to turn up the mean on her mug.

We tried different types of photos; the “smile for grandma” type and the more photojournalistic style. Do I even need to say that the latter were way more successful. Poor Jon-Mark, he did not appear frustrated in the least but I still felt bad for him. I can’t imagine what the session would have looked like had he not been so talented and understanding. He thought on the fly and tried to make E’s moods work for us. We began the challenge of capturing the meanest “smug mug” and all giggled about the results. E would not hold hands, she would not sit and she would not smile… well okay she smiled a few times but it was when B and I were not in the pictures and were making damn fools out of ourselves to get her to smile. The i-phone soothed her, so we will now have family photos with that important 4th family member- dad’s i-phone; I am sure that Apple would approve and if Steve Jobs read this post you would see a new i-phone commercial that featured family photos with their i-phone in the photo or at least a “family photo” i-phone app.

I appologized profusely to Jon-Mark. I said the usual, she is usually really happy or she’s tired and I’m sorry. Jon-Mark was convinced that she didn’t like him, I convinced him otherwise and said that really in that moment she didn’t like anyone! I have been Jon-Mark in this situation before. I have had the mom apologize and be embarassed and a teensy bit annoyed with their child. Oh did I say teensy bit, I really mean a lot. I was a lot annoyed. I knew it wasn’t her fault, but I was still annoyed. B on the otherhand was cool as a cucumber. He was all serenity, how does he do it, how does he? Likely years of dealing with her ma (me) has taught him a thing or two about a prickly female, lol.

I am fortunate that in this situation I knew what was happening behind the lens. I knew that despite the lack of sit down and smile there were memories of my little family being created. I knew that Jon-Mark’s skill would prevail and that I would gush the same thing that the other mothers say to me, “I don’t know how you did it, these photos are amazing.” I am pretty sure what makes these shots still amazing is that they are of your family. Yes, that’s right your family. Your family is more than an image, your family is an energy and these more photojournalistic images capture that. You look at the photos and you remember what was happening, you remember the feelings that you had, the smells that were around you (mmm waffles), the feel of the sunshine peeking through the clouds, the uneven pavement under your feet and the smile you exchanged with your partner when you were proud of a new skill that your little girl demonstrated. I am pretty sure that I will prefer these shots over the smile for grandma types (as Jon-Mark called them). I wonder if other families feel the same or if it is just because I also have a love of photography and prefer these types of shots from others’ sessions as well?

So I can proudly say that like all scary situations, being on the other side of the lens taught me a few things:

– I now know what it feels like to be the mom of the child who will not cooperate. Note to self, offer support to the mom, lend an ear, a shoulder or a tissue (hmmm, maybe I should carry mom emergency chocolate?). When said child is not cooperating work with them, not against them, you will create memories for the famliy.

– Being in front of the camera is scary. Talk to people about a happy memory or exciting life event while photographing them. Jon-Mark kept the conversation alive and it helped me to relax A LOT.

– The dad hates having his photo taken more than the uncooperative child. Ohhh goodness does he ever. I have always noticed at shoots that the dad seems uncomfortable. I try to be funny and get them laughing, even if it means making fun of myself. Jon-Mark was great with us, but B still wasn’t excited about the photo session as I felt he should be. I asked him why and it comes down to this, guys typically don’t value family photos as much as we ladies do. They just don’t get our need to document every detail. They don’t get baby books and they don’t get saving curls or first teeth. I asked B how I can help dads, he said make it quick and organized so that I can get in and get out; makes sense if you think of the whole hunter gatherer thing (we like to lovingly collect, they like to strike and get the heck out). Good thing for us, he liked Jon-Mark’s speedy style 🙂

– With a talented photographer, good photos amount from even the most frustrating session. When you think that everything has failed don’t worry, all is not lost just because you don’t have the typical family photo shot. In fact you might get better than that, you might get a shot that actually captures your family as they are!

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West Coast Family {Victoria, BC Family Photography}

I had the pleasure of meeting the Ford family on Friday. The met me at one of our beautiful beaches in town. I am so fortunate to be a photographer where there is so much natural beauty to use as your backdrop! Mom Mel wanted some fun summer beach shots of her family and you couldn’t have made me a more happy gal Mel by showing up ready to play in the sand with your very sweet family. I don’t know what it is but I always get such lovely families to photograph- they are kind and fun and oh so easy to work with. I made a comment to the Ford family about how I read an article that said with the advent of digital photography that even a monkey could be a photographer… and I don’t want to sell myself too short but with this family and this backdrop I think they probably could! I hope you enjoy Mel 🙂

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